Disclaimer: This meal was comped.
Albeit not exactly spanking new, the Plateau's eighteen-month-old Ibéricos – not to be confused with the aforementioned Ibérica – has recently expanded its kitchen team with a former Tapas 24 chef.
To showcase the changes brought on by this addition, members of the media were invited to a cocktail hour followed by a tasting event.
Occupying two floors of a Plateau-esque Greystone on Saint-Denis Street, Ibéricos offers a bar/tavern area on the ground floor and a (semi) private dining room above.
The vibe is relaxed and warm, featuring exposed brick walls, hanging planters and a fridge showcasing some of the imported products used in the menu – jamón, cheeses, olives – which are also for sale.
The restaurante's menu is split into aperitivos, tapas and a couple of main dishes; the focus is really on sharing a bite while sipping wine, cava, cerveza or a cocktail. Classic Spanish dishes are given a Quebecois touch using local ingredients.
Our tasting menu started safe and predictable with charcuteries, tomato-topped bread and cod fritters. The second half scored points with melt-in-your-mouth oxtail croquettes, fragrant paella full of flavour and rich kaffir lime bites.
Without being very well versed in Spanish food – I'll even admit I'm not a big fan – I liked most of what I saw at Ibéricos. The tavern area on the ground floor seems particularly well-suited for nibbles and drinks accompanied with friends.
At the very least it's nice to see some new-ish blood on this stretch of Saint-Denis Street, left for dead two years ago following a months-long construction project which saw countless businesses shut their doors.
So while spring might not be in the air with this unrelenting cold front, Spain certainly appears to be this season.
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.